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The Esoteric Grimoire

11th February, 2017. 1:05 am. Rockstar Death Age

I've been talking about turning 27 for months, because my existential crises can't be contained.  But here I am.

Don't ask me how I'm choosing songs.  I might change them because I wish I'd taken more time with this.

Janis Joplin, "Ball & Chain"
The Doors, "The Severed Garden"
Jimi Hendrix, "Purple Haze" (I feel like in this version, it sounds more like "this guy" than usual.)
Nirvana, "The Man Who Sold The World"  (I know I should at least pick something he wrote, but I just wanted to do this one.  According to Wikipedia, Kathleen Hanna actually said "smells like Teen Spirit" to him pre-the song. But I am not educated enough in Nirvana to know what is Cobain at his most riot grrrl.)
The Rolling Stones, "She's A Rainbow"
Amy Winehouse, "Tears Dry On Their Own"

Righteous Brothers, "Rock 'n Roll Heaven"
John Craigie, "28" (Yeah, so, I probably wouldn't be including this if it either weren't in the 27 Club Wikipedia article or if he didn't do "What Phase Is This." But it also reminds me that they didn't die on their 27th birthdays, so I'm still younger than they were for now.)
Amanda Palmer, "Bottomfeeder"

Make Notes

21st January, 2017. 9:00 pm.

So, folks.  I am emotionally and physically exhausted (may have sat in the aisle on the Metro because there was a chance my legs would literally give out), but now I am finally in my bed with a bowl of soup and some fries, and here is what I am spitting out if my head about a thing that is big and beautiful and far from about me, but here is what I am learning.

-I missed the rally because I was too afraid to strike out alone.*  Mike says you couldn't really hear and he missed the Indigo Girls too, but I needn't have feared striking out alone.  You're not alone when you're in a crowd of people who love and value the same things, and who are there to stand together.  (I eventually did strike out alone, when people were done marching before I was, and the crowd felt great alone.  I think one thing I should work on in my life is when I know what I want to do but seek others' permission to do it.  Yes, I rarely know what I want, but when I do know what I want, why can't I trust myself?  Luckily, the people I ask usually pick up on what I want and say the right thing.)  I didn't see any celebrities in the crowd, either, although it seems from Twitter that JoCo and Joss Whedon and others were just marching alongside us regular folks.  But I saw a lot of fierce, dedicated people, banding together with love and determination and anger.

-I brought a good amount of snacks (although I ended up giving most of them to a homeless man) but in the future, more water.  Or at least accept an extra bottle being distributed, because the bottle I brought might have been full when I passed the bottled watter people, but by the end, I was swallowing my own throat on a very long Metro ride.

-Download some offline maps.  Come on, you could have figured that out.  Although following random people on the street generally worked well.

-How come there is always a Starbucks there, except when I really want one?  When you're thirsty and hungry and tired and in possession of a Starbucks gift card, there should definitely be a Starbucks on the way to the Metro.

-SO MANY PEOPLE.  SO MUCH TIME SPENT ON THE METRO. My back hurts and my legs ache and I almost fell asleep on my feet.  And also, note to self, when some guy offers you his seat on the Metro and you're close to collapsing, that is actually a really good time to say yes, thank you.  You don't have to say no, you're fine, if you're not quite fine.

-Also, I just have SO MANY FEELINGS.  I almost cried when I pulled up to the Metro and saw the sea of people there.  I almost cried when little girls on the Metro were discussing their favorite protest signs ("Love trumps hate," because it had hearts, and "Keep your laws off my body," on which she had traced her hands).  I almost cried at a lot of things.  And then I think about how this doesn't change what we're up against, and I want to cry a different kind of tears.  But the Metro conductor on the way home thanked us for what we were doing, and that makes me want to cry too.  Because we were doing something, and I was part of that, and we were doing it for all the people who couldn't be there and for each other, because none of us could do it without each other.  And there was so much love there, so much diversity (in so many of its forms), and so much support for each other.  This kind of thing is how the Tea Party started, and there were a lot more of us than there were of them at the beginning.  So who knows.  Maybe all won't be lost.


*The upside here is I got to catch up with Mary, whom I haven't seen in ages and whom I was not expecting to see at the March.  It was pretty great to see her.  If you include Friday, when I was able to catch Jackie for some quality time, I spent time with 3 of my favorite people (2 of whom don't live around here) and I didn't die in a ditch, although in retrospect, the assurance from Nate and Kirsten (is it better without an ampersand?) that they would come save me if I were to die in a ditch doesn't make much sense.

(If you're curious about counterprotests, I saw a grand total of 2 people in Trump paraphenalia, and probably 5-10 anti-choice protestors, who were not hostile at least as we marched by them.)

Make Notes

12th January, 2017. 5:28 pm.

Thanks to everyone who provided cheer-up ideas!  I've been incorporating them into my self-care.  I hope you're self-caring too.  I'm louder about it than most people I know, but please let me know if I can help you with yours or call me out when I'm being unproductively depressing at a time that that's just going to make your life worse.

I had something else to say.  I don't remember what it was.  I don't even remember the mood.  But self-care is good.  The long haul is going to be so long, but we have to stay in it.

Make Notes

5th January, 2017. 2:06 pm.

What are scenes/songs/things that I can find online that will always make me smile?  I have a couple songs and a Project Runway clip on my Youtube playlist but I think for the next few years I'll need more.  I'm looking mostly for things I already know, probably.  Reliable cheer-up things.  You guys know me, what makes me happy in an uncomplicated way?  (No suggestions that involve British cheekbones will be accepted.)  (While John Finnemore does have cheekbones, as do the members of Monty Python, etc., they are acceptable.)  (Now I'm thinking Dennis Moore?)

Read 7 Notes -Make Notes

22nd December, 2016. 11:28 am.

I'm watching The Punk Singer.  Due to a conversation with Mike following AFP talking about Trump & punk.
I don't know how to write music but I want to know.  Of course, neo-Nazis are currently threatening DC-area punk venues about the time I'd most want to go.
I don't know what I want to say or how.
I want to make things again though.  Starting is the hard part.
I think we need Kathleen Hanna back.  But at least we have Amanda Palmer and Grimes and Janelle Monae and lots of people I don't know because I am undereducated.

This is not the lightest music, but you probably know that because "Bigger on the Inside."  But I guess it's more trauma and sexism/racism stuff and less fascism stuff because that's where I came out of The Punk Singer.

Bikini Kill, "Feels Blind"
Amanda Palmer, "Bigger on the Inside"
Grimes, "Oblivion"
Janelle Monae, "Many Moons"

Make Notes

19th December, 2016. 7:10 pm.

I think that not hoping will make things not hurt.  It doesn't work, though, and the things that usually make me happy won't make me happy.
I'll figure something out 'cause I'm not good at being depressed and if leaving the country helps me, you can shame me if you want but I will put on my mask before assisting others.  I don't know if it will help, but it's not like I haven't wanted to move somewhere for ages.


For now, I want to apply for jobs in Canada but also figure out how to be creative again in a way that at least helps me.

Make Notes

17th December, 2016. 5:43 pm. Art & Mattering

(If you read my lj you probably know me, so you probably know that as I'm writing this the other side of my brain is just chanting over and over that clearly none of this matters.)

I don't know about the artsy people you know, but mine are all concerned with how to do things that matter more, whether that's the word they use or not.  How to get through to people who don't already agree with you, how to make sure your work isn't part of the problem, how to give opportunities to those who lack them without appropriating or misrepresenting their stories (some of this may be theatre-specific, but I think the concepts are more general).

(I think the first one is the hardest; art can be an effective tool for empathy, but audiences get awfully insular.  We do get a lot of old people seeing theatre made by young people, but it's hard to get outside the regular theatre people. And that can be true in other fields, too.  Although in my sf/f/h short fiction days, as limited as the audience could be, I think it has a lot more political and ideological diversity than theatre.)

What I'm thinking right now is that while preaching to the choir isn't particularly productive, there is value in creating things that might contribute to the self-care of people already in your community or on your side.  And it's also hard to predict what that might be.  Probably when Aimee Mann wrote "Red Vines," she didn't know it was going to become symbolic of one 20-something's self-care.  On the surface, it doesn't particularly seem like a song that Says Something Important, necessarily.  And representation to wide audiences with diverse perspectives is the most helpful empathy-wise, but it's also super-valuable for the people for whom it's not even empathy to see that representation.  So maybe preaching to the choir is an overly dismissive way of looking at it.  Maybe it's not self-indulgent to sometimes want to create an artistic support group.

Or THE ALIENS.  Or Pokemon Snap.  Like, if I could just devote my life to THE ALIENS, Firefly, and Pokemon Snap, that sounds like the best life ever.  And, like, Spider & Web.  Obviously this list could become extremely long.  And I roll my eyes when people talk about probable-queerbaiting Youtubers saving their lives or whatever.  Maybe I'm saying that mattering is overrated, or just that it doesn't make any sense.

I don't know.  I'm not sure I've ever been one to write about Issues in some kind of Important way.  And I've never really minded that before.  But the world now isn't what it was then, and now writing a self-indulgent play about self-indulgence seems extra self-indulgent and maybe only justifiable if I were to actually quit my job and work for some saving-the-world type of group (yes, I know I work to make higher education more accessible to nontraditional students, thanks Mom!).  So should I write the SLJ one if only because it would have lead roles that necessitate casting women of color?  Should I come up with an idea that Matters more than the ones I have?  Should I stop trying to get back into the headspace where I was going to start writing again and accept that the kind of fighting that also means not taking much time to avoid the despairs of reality is actually what I should be doing for the next 4 years or more (this necessitates believing in my ability to make a difference, so...)?

(Jonatha Brooke, "It Matters Now")

I know, this is totally self-indulgent in itself.  But I think that's often part of the process.

Read 6 Notes -Make Notes

7th December, 2016. 11:33 am. Not Okay

Willow: I'm not okay. I knew those guys. I go to that room every day. And when I walked in there, it-it wasn't our world anymore. They made it theirs. And they had fun. What are we gonna do?

Buffy: What we have to.

Make Notes

30th November, 2016. 3:41 pm. Not Everything Has To Mean Things

I think I have come out of Thanksgiving a little less stressed and terrified and maybe fighting with a little less of myself (but I'm not done fighting by a longshot).  And apparently I'm actually listening to a little music that I haven't already playlisted to death.

Amontiock, "Hufflepuff Puff Pass" (let's be real, if I were at Hogwarts, I'd be a loser Hufflepuff and not living this life.)
Beyonce, "All Night"
Jenny Owen Youngs, "Pirates" (is it a real thing that music is better once the artist starts a Buffy rewatch podcast?) (I think she was better yesterday though?)
okay but Jenny Owen Youngs, "Welcome to the Hellmouth"  (spoilers for the first ep. of Buffy, but really, you've seen it.)
I feel like somehow the most emblematic Steven Universe songs are "Giant Woman" and "Stronger Than You."  Although in some ways maybe "It's Over, Isn't It" is the best?  This is a rabbit hole, of course.
If you want an accurate Zan listening experience, repeat "All Night" a couple more times.

I'm clearly writing cover letters right now.

Make Notes

19th November, 2016. 3:32 pm.

This is a marathon, not a sprint.  I can't sustain myself on fear, tension, political phone calls, and the empty fluff of instant gratification that feel immediately appealing after a day of the first three.  I can reconsider things in my life, I can fight, but I shouldn't abandon completely the things I was going to do to be ridiculous and have fun.  I miss that world, but I think I need to reclaim bits of it for as long as I can.

People are gonna write counterfactuals about this.  I just try not to spend too long thinking about them.

(Insert comment about not letting the terrorists win.)

(I still hope the Handmaid's Tale TV adaptation is great, but I'm afraid it will be seriously painful to watch.)


Edit- The BBC is already on those counterfactuals. Although of course only the future will tell us how far the paths diverge.
"The second special will involve the team looking back 'at the year that never was, imagining what life would be like had Remain won, Trump lost and a host of other events that just might have happened'."

Oh, 2016.  If only what happened in 2016 could just stay in 2016.

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